I was just listening to the NPR radio discussion about the Slaughter article in the Atlantic about Having It All, and one of the things that one of the women on the radio said that hit me like a punch in the gut was this:
"Organizational issues are no small problem. For women with men who aren’t organized, it’s a very serious issue in their marriages."
I’m a feminist. I’m a slob. I fully recognize that it is completely sexist that men are assumed disorganized and women are assumed to be inherently neat and tidy, because I find it offensive. But I’ve never felt so inadequate because of my organizational failures. I’ve never felt like a bad woman because I’m not neat and tidy. Sometimes I feel like a bad wife, sure, but this implication that I’m a failure in my marriage, that my lack of organization will be our downfall, that is new.
The discussion on NPR was quite interesting though, and I will talk more about it in the future (possibly all week), because everyone who was talking on the show was much more interesting than the people who Slaughter discusses in her piece, and had much more interesting things to say, but I wanted to kick it off with a discussion of whether messiness is a feminist issue. I’ve always thought it was because women will pick up after men but men don’t pick up after women, but I think the feminism here runs deeper, runs to the very core of expectations about how women should act and how we should be, as parents and as people.
I know of all of the battles we have to fight as women, the assumption that women are naturally organized and that if your man is not organized, you need to fix that, this is not a large battle. It is probably not a battle I will choose to fight, anywhere but my relationship and perhaps with my friends. But I think it matters to recognize the small inequalities we face, as well as the large scale ones. Anyone else have an opinion?